Farming thread Francois vs Runningboy

Jun 16, 2009
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hey you said some things i just can't let go
My farm experince is real world in the usa
I applaud that u went to school wherever
but by and large where i am from we do things the old fashioned way mostly

Francois the Postman said:
Yes, but only because you keep focussing on one single aspect of farming, the quality of a single end product, and assume best practises, and best intent, and best result. Not because you are a dishonest person.

And strangely, you disagree, but then say that you are a modern farmer that constantly monitors and re-evaluates adopted and accepted practises, discarding some practises as not worth the price or unwelcome. Which is exactly what I stated.
where did i claim this? please don't put words in my mouth.
 
Jun 16, 2009
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Francois the Postman said:
But "modern farming" also means
1) huge mono-cultures that impact the biodiversity of the environment it is introduced into
2) manipulated crops/cattle (both genetically and by using additives) that again have a direct impact on the local biospheres by introducing resistance and toxins that upset the local balance
3) manipulation by powerful corporations of local situations on the ground, that are replacing self-sustainable practices with not-self-unsustainable ones
3) genetic manipulation (sterile crops) with the sole aim to tie a producer to a supplier, regardless of the local consequences [farmers are not always as free to chose as the theory of free and fair enterprise suggests]
4) massive consumption of additional energy for less gain per unit of energy used at the top end, with the pollution that that triggers

.
i cant seem to stay logged in long enough to reply lets see if it works this time
i refute your assumptions
1)not ime
2)we do everything the old fashioned way so no new toxins or disease
3)we are self sustainable
3)never heard of it, lots of seed corn companies fighting for business tremendous competition farmers here have alot of choices
4) we actually use less energy through better practices than my grandfather. We don't use additional grain,or feed. the only grain we use is in winter our cattle are turned into a neighbors stock field where they clean up the grain left at harvest. eating this residue allows for a cleaner field allowing the farmer to use less pesticide and use less energy by making no till farming feasible. so less energy consumed
 
Jun 16, 2009
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Francois the Postman said:
5) destruction of enormous amount of resources for "an ideal" end product, an increase in the meat consumption triggers an enormous pyramid of additional processes
6) plenty of huge scandals that prove that cheating the system is still an option, but now can floor the industry of entire nations
7) spread of diseases and introduction of alien predators into local food chains with devastating effects on the local systems
8) a strong industry lobby (especially the pharmaceutical industry) that doesn't have our best well-being at heart
10) all the trappings that come with a increasing concentration of power and profits
11) more and more resistant diseases that are harder and harder to cull, some of which are becoming transferable to humans
12) some new diseases or big outbreaks (not always in the animal or crop targeted, but in an innocent bystander) are a result of a change in production culture or the toxins used
13) we are producing well beyond sustainability in some areas, leaving huge exhausted areas that have lost their production value completely, or for a long period of time
etc, etc.
5. Uh simply no.we feed grass and water. we have an overabundance of water here as increased rains have made the water table rise. we raise more cattle we just rotate more, plenty of grass and water.
6. Scandals cheating? not around here no one would put their community in jeopardy you dont get into farming to make money.
7.no aliens here, we hire only americans:)seriously we have no such problems other than a elderly British woman who illegally imported thistle seed as she like the pretty purple flowers. Spread all over. Thanks granny!lots of theories how to eradicate this non agricultural pest heaped upon us by an alien. But we found the only way to get rid of them was take your spade walk out into the field and kill them by hand . My parents and i did this for several years on hundreds of acres until the problem was under control. In our state we have a weed commissionar who calls u up and tells u to eradicate non native species of plantlife.So we take that kind of thing pretty seriously around here.
8. strong lobby? please the governement pays us 100 dollars an acre to rent them farm ground for wildlife habitat that same ground rents for 900 dollars an acre on the open market. Boy that is some powerful influence.
9. you have no 9 but u got two 3's your university math perhaps??
10.power & profits? OK. lets talk profit my grandparents farmed for 70 years the only material possesions they had basically was a few sticks of furniture, a watch i gave my grandfather and miscellaneous household items. Not even wedding bands or a ring after 53 years of marriage.Most farmers only real asset is the land so they take care of it. Asset rich and cash poor.
My vehicles are a 1984 chevy pickup and 1976 dodge pickup
yeah lots of power & profit here. well the dodge has 354 horsepower so i may have to give you this one, partially
so power but no profit :)))
11.no disease here
12.see 11
13. very sustainable. our land is in better condition than when we bought it. we have deeper topsoil, less erosion, better grass buffer strips, trees etc etc etc . and just to let you know the dustbowl we had in the thirties was really reversed in short order.
So while you think the land has lost "production value completely" it can be reversed quickly in many cases.
Now i can't speak for everyone but i kno my immediate enviroment quite well. If there are things such as u describe it might because of where you learned it. I have a cousin who holds multiple degrees from some of the finest agricultural schools in the world. My grandfather was always sad about this as my cousin worked in theory instead of practical application.
the assumptions you make are conclusions made on gathering data that is subject to many variables.
let me give u an example
when universities wish to study cattle and their effects on global warming they took a herd animal, isolated it from the herd and then measured the amount of bodily fluids solids and gases released from said animal. then they extrapolated that figure by all the cattle in the world. that assumes many things including difference in breeds and diet but foremost in my mind is when u isolate a herd animal like a cow, they get quite upset and their first response is to release fluids, wastes and gases.
In another often quoted university study it was found when measuring the impact of meat they accounted for every facet of energy usage to come up with a wildly inflated figure. But when comparing it to transportation they neglected to use the same methodolgy tp figure the enviromental cost of transportation. i.e. the amount of energy used in the production of vehicles the amount of energy transporting said vehicles, the amount of energy to detroy or recycle said vehciles etc etc, when the question was posed they said something along the lines of too vast & difficult to quantify. they were able to quantify how much energy it took to have a farm, raise a cow, sell the cow , distribute and for it to be consumed. but they refused to do that for other industries? how convienient and also makes for a very slanted study does it not? how can u compare when you do not use the same methodology for all industries?

Finally a last word on university science
not too many years ago we were told there would be worldwide starvation as farmers had reached their maximum production
AND
we were told we were headed for a global ice age

both of those assumptions were wrong. And they were made by some of the finest minds at the best universities and accepted as fact.

Personally i find real world application and common sense to be of much more value than theory and conclusions that are based on data that is subject to the way it was gathered and in what context.
Another quick analogy i was in university studying psychology and we had two professors who varied greatly. One was a longtime member of the faculty and the other was a part time professor who was a practicing psychiatrist. We learned the real world application was often times at odds with theory and academia. In a nutshell you can go to a Freudian psychiatrist and go round & round in circles debating for the rest of your life
or you can go somewhere else and get better.
 
Nov 2, 2009
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runninboy said:
<snipped for brevity>

Finally a last word on university science
not too many years ago we were told there would be worldwide starvation as farmers had reached their maximum production
Yeah, apparently it's only a billion people who are starving.

On another note, I wonder how food production will go when a) petroleum-based fertilizers are less available or very costly and b) climate-change brings a higher number of extreme weather events our way (such as this year's floods in Queensland and Victoria, which wiped out crops and thus the supply of several foods because food production has been "centralized" as per modern commercial agricultural practice.
 
The modern concept of industrial farming, like everything that is so tied to the market, works within criteria that is chiefly based upon a production-profit formula, which isn't exactly how nature operates. And while man has manipulated nature for about the past 4000 years or so in his farming techniques, this was done by peasants, not capitalists. The results are plain to see. We have larger quantities of a few products in the supermarkets, but, as a whole, our diet has become impoverished.

Thus entire fruit species have been driven into extinction or are practically extinct. Small local sub-regioal production has given way to a mega-interregional scale, where quantity and uniformity prevail following the market logic.

Consequently peasant society all over the globe has taken an extreme beating by industrial farming. We have less diversity in what we eat, brutalize the growing regions which are noteworthily impoverished, and the taste isn't nearly what it used to be. Everything is based upon methods of production that cater to the largest markets, so that we have more of a few things, though our dietary habits have taken a tremendous hit in terms of culture.

Then take the speculation that goes on at the commodities exchange, which often has devastating consequences for the poorest societies, and the military action taken to ensure that the largest industries maintain their market hegemony al là United Fruit, and we can see why capitalism when applied to diet and nutrition is a sinister force.

Thus this insistence on respecting gandpa's traditions is invisible to me in the real world of contemporary industrial agriculture.
 
Aug 4, 2009
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In a few years we will have enough drugs to keep us going without food but only problem is UCI will ban them.
I will still plant my own potatoes and tomatoes + whatever else i can grow.
I did say whatever else.
 
Mar 18, 2009
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Please...

dolophonic said:
RB.
Just because you say it does not make it so.
I would trust RB a hell of a lot more than some buffoon who has absolutely no experience and makes baseless comments...kinda like you?? Anyway, I am not surprised at the comments on this thread...and the specific people making them. To me it looks like a bunch of people who sit on their computers and look up a bunch of crap on wiki and post it here...Francois??? rhubroma with another multi paragraph crap fest about the evils of the world..redtreviso simply posting stuff to elicit a response...typical of a 10 year old...Hugh Januss once again taking a shot at "corporations" this time Monsanto...and finally Spare Tyre railing on about the billion starving in the world...with no real idea how to make it better. So you have one guy who is actually in the agricultural industry and a bunch of "thought leaders" acting like they know the score...

My family runs a small goat operation...and my friends and neighbors run everything from cattle to sheep. Nothing is more offputting than city folks...or university folks...whatever you want to call them spouting some of the claptrap that I see here...like RB said...you don't go into this to become rich...jeez!

My suggestion runninboy is to let this go...you can not possibly win as you will be shouted down...or bored to tears by the collective genius on this thread.
 
Nov 2, 2009
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TRDean said:
...and finally Spare Tyre railing on about the billion starving in the world...with no real idea how to make it better. .
Does anyone know how to make that better?
 
Dec 30, 2010
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sure do !

Spare Tyre said:
Does anyone know how to make that better?
The starving issue , *billions starving around the world * and how to make it better .

Start educating the religious zealots and hand them all condoms . Dont do the deed if you cant feed the seed !

:cool:
 
Dec 30, 2010
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rhubroma said:
The modern concept of industrial farming, like everything that is so tied to the market, works within criteria that is chiefly based upon a production-profit formula, which isn't exactly how nature operates. And while man has manipulated nature for about the past 4000 years or so in his farming techniques, this was done by peasants, not capitalists. The results are plain to see. We have larger quantities of a few products in the supermarkets, but, as a whole, our diet has become impoverished.

Thus entire fruit species have been driven into extinction or are practically extinct. Small local sub-regioal production has given way to a mega-interregional scale, where quantity and uniformity prevail following the market logic.

Consequently peasant society all over the globe has taken an extreme beating by industrial farming. We have less diversity in what we eat, brutalize the growing regions which are noteworthily impoverished, and the taste isn't nearly what it used to be. Everything is based upon methods of production that cater to the largest markets, so that we have more of a few things, though our dietary habits have taken a tremendous hit in terms of culture.

Then take the speculation that goes on at the commodities exchange, which often has devastating consequences for the poorest societies, and the military action taken to ensure that the largest industries maintain their market hegemony al là United Fruit, and we can see why capitalism when applied to diet and nutrition is a sinister force.

Thus this insistence on respecting gandpa's traditions is invisible to me in the real world of contemporary industrial agriculture.
Technically what you are saying is correct . WE all know that apples dont grow in grocery stores , even if our kids all think that is where food comes from and corporations advertise it ;The grocery store .

I suppose in the United states the gigantic commercial farms are a happening thing . However . There are huge areas in the states and just outside the states ( like Ontario's Mennonite regions ) that farm the old way , and i mean the old way right down to the horse and buggy . People travel for miles to buy produce from them every Saturday and stock up everything from fruit and vegtables to meat and fresh baked bread and cake and cookies . Made without preservatives or additives grown the natural way and fertilized the natural way . People travel over an hour by car to get there . That is a huge circle of 100 km in all directions . Its hard to find a parking spot there . That tells us that for the most part the average person is fed up with the supermarket / walmart , mega shelf life food for sale packed with enough preservatives to send the UCI / wada and the like drug test emporiums on a tail spin if our babies were tested for stuff .

( Side note , our mennonites also ride black bicycles as well as horses and buggies , so its a fitting conversation on a bicycle forum ) .

WE have area's here that are still family farm run and the farms thrive , at least enough for people to survive and in time prosper enough to pass it on .
RB was right saying in a round about way , that your not in this to get rich , its a way of life . So is Fishing . The farmers of the Sea , which was a good life till the floating Canneries came along and fished the Banks till they bled them dry , but thats another story .

IN short , Farmers Feed cities , So do fishermen . It is a way of life .

:cool:
 
TRDean said:
I would trust RB a hell of a lot more than some buffoon who has absolutely no experience and makes baseless comments...kinda like you?? Anyway, I am not surprised at the comments on this thread...and the specific people making them. To me it looks like a bunch of people who sit on their computers and look up a bunch of crap on wiki and post it here...Francois??? rhubroma with another multi paragraph crap fest about the evils of the world..redtreviso simply posting stuff to elicit a response...typical of a 10 year old...Hugh Januss once again taking a shot at "corporations" this time Monsanto...and finally Spare Tyre railing on about the billion starving in the world...with no real idea how to make it better. So you have one guy who is actually in the agricultural industry and a bunch of "thought leaders" acting like they know the score...

My family runs a small goat operation...and my friends and neighbors run everything from cattle to sheep. Nothing is more offputting than city folks...or university folks...whatever you want to call them spouting some of the claptrap that I see here...like RB said...you don't go into this to become rich...jeez!

My suggestion runninboy is to let this go...you can not possibly win as you will be shouted down...or bored to tears by the collective genius on this thread.
A bunch of crap? Not really. Until people like ourself a willing to look at reality and outside the little box in which you have been ideologically kept, then certain things will remain unknown to you.

I have actually done some reading on just those things I have mentioned, namely the market determinants which have governed the agricultural choices that have been made over the last century.

The idea that agriculture should be primarily based upon serving the largest markets is merely an ideological choice, which has nothing to do with how growing can be done to serve both society and nature in the best possible ways.

In fact there are good arguments to suggest that returning to models of local production, as was done in all peasant societies before industrialization, can serve human need (and the emphasis is on need here) much better than the industrial methodologies achieve, where often excesses are wasted on consumers who even in the largest markets can't meet consumption demands based on production levels.

Grain is perhaps a different story, but even here, the sad reality is that the world produces enough grain in the rich markets to supply all the starving nations of the Third World. Yet the same market logic prohibits the most optimal distribution to where it is most needed.

In this same vein, we over fish our seas for a few prized species, leaving the oceans stocked with a multitude of "lesser" fish that could be exploited to prevent the others from being driven into extinction.

Bottom line is that the ideology of the market and its logic has created serious issues with regards to biodiversity and sustainability. There has been much written about this by Carlo Petrini, sociologist, agronomist and founder of Slow Food.

If having some goat and cattle farmers among your family and friends in America means that you would have us believe that you are the expert, before making insulting remarks I'd suggest you actually read some before demonstrating only how ignorant and arrogant you are.
 
TRDean said:
I would trust RB a hell of a lot more than some buffoon who has absolutely no experience and makes baseless comments...kinda like you?? Anyway, I am not surprised at the comments on this thread...and the specific people making them. To me it looks like a bunch of people who sit on their computers and look up a bunch of crap on wiki and post it here...Francois??? rhubroma with another multi paragraph crap fest about the evils of the world..redtreviso simply posting stuff to elicit a response...typical of a 10 year old...Hugh Januss once again taking a shot at "corporations" this time Monsanto...and finally Spare Tyre railing on about the billion starving in the world...with no real idea how to make it better. So you have one guy who is actually in the agricultural industry and a bunch of "thought leaders" acting like they know the score...

My family runs a small goat operation...and my friends and neighbors run everything from cattle to sheep. Nothing is more offputting than city folks...or university folks...whatever you want to call them spouting some of the claptrap that I see here...like RB said...you don't go into this to become rich...jeez!

My suggestion runninboy is to let this go...you can not possibly win as you will be shouted down...or bored to tears by the collective genius on this thread.
What I was trying to point out, numbnuts, is that RB is talking about how his family runs their family farm, while 'The Postman is talking mostly about the bad points of big Agra-business. The good practices that RB talks about and his family's stewardship of the land are not always in line with the ways that big business farming is done.
 
Mar 17, 2009
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rhubroma said:
A bunch of crap? Not really. Until people like ourself a willing to look at reality and outside the little box in which you have been ideologically kept, then certain things will remain unknown to you.

I have actually done some reading on just those things I have mentioned, namely the market determinants which have governed the agricultural choices that have been made over the last century.

The idea that agriculture should be primarily based upon serving the largest markets is merely an ideological choice, which has nothing to do with how growing can be done to serve both society and nature in the best possible ways.

In fact there are good arguments to suggest that returning to models of local production, as was done in all peasant societies before industrialization, can serve human need (and the emphasis is on need here) much better than the industrial methodologies achieve, where often excesses are wasted on consumers who even in the largest markets can't meet consumption demands based on production levels.

Grain is perhaps a different story, but even here, the sad reality is that the world produces enough grain in the rich markets to supply all the starving nations of the Third World. Yet the same market logic prohibits the most optimal distribution to where it is most needed.

In this same vein, we over fish our seas for a few prized species, leaving the oceans stocked with a multitude of "lesser" fish that could be exploited to prevent the others from being driven into extinction.

Bottom line is that the ideology of the market and its logic has created serious issues with regards to biodiversity and sustainability. There has been much written about this by Carlo Petrini, sociologist, agronomist and founder of Slow Food.

If having some goat and cattle farmers among your family and friends in America means that you would have us believe that you are the expert, before making insulting remarks I'd suggest you actually read some before demonstrating only how ignorant and arrogant you are.
but did those peasants have free healthcare? :D
 
Dec 30, 2010
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patricknd said:
but did those peasants have free healthcare? :D
Ah , i dont think there was health care in the early days , and the later days health care certainly isnt free . So either way a mute point .

With a healthy lifestyle , good food , healthcare was not needed . You either were strong enough to live or you died . Health care is actually very recent . The most gains made in actual hospitals and organizations of such are actually only common place in the last 75 years , for sake of argument over time . Modern medicine where you expect to live after entering the hospital over not making it out again about the same time . I guess it depended on the type of sword wound or musket wound you got in the early days .

ONe thing is for sure , health care or not , one lives better eating right with less junk chemicals in the body than with . So , kindof a good point for the smaller farm , and an absolute not doable item for the giant farming operation .
 
Apr 21, 2009
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I met a semi retired Canadian farmer who told me that there is actually a global food surplus. The real problem is affordability. I found that interesting and believable.
It costs money to produce food. It costs money to consume it as well.
 
Mar 18, 2009
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rhubroma said:
A bunch of crap? Not really. Until people like ourself a willing to look at reality and outside the little box in which you have been ideologically kept, then certain things will remain unknown to you.

I have actually done some reading on just those things I have mentioned, namely the market determinants which have governed the agricultural choices that have been made over the last century.

The idea that agriculture should be primarily based upon serving the largest markets is merely an ideological choice, which has nothing to do with how growing can be done to serve both society and nature in the best possible ways.

In fact there are good arguments to suggest that returning to models of local production, as was done in all peasant societies before industrialization, can serve human need (and the emphasis is on need here) much better than the industrial methodologies achieve, where often excesses are wasted on consumers who even in the largest markets can't meet consumption demands based on production levels.

Grain is perhaps a different story, but even here, the sad reality is that the world produces enough grain in the rich markets to supply all the starving nations of the Third World. Yet the same market logic prohibits the most optimal distribution to where it is most needed.

In this same vein, we over fish our seas for a few prized species, leaving the oceans stocked with a multitude of "lesser" fish that could be exploited to prevent the others from being driven into extinction.

Bottom line is that the ideology of the market and its logic has created serious issues with regards to biodiversity and sustainability. There has been much written about this by Carlo Petrini, sociologist, agronomist and founder of Slow Food.

If having some goat and cattle farmers among your family and friends in America means that you would have us believe that you are the expert, before making insulting remarks I'd suggest you actually read some before demonstrating only how ignorant and arrogant you are.
And there is your problem...all you do is read...you need to get out in the real world...you sure know how to cure everything..but spend an inordinant amount of time sitting on a cycling forum telling eveyone how brilliant you are. By the way...do you believe everything you read...or just the stuff you agree with? And I take you calling me ignorant and arrogant as a compliment, and I stand by my insults of you...windbag!
 
TRDean said:
And there is your problem...all you do is read...you need to get out in the real world...you sure know how to cure everything..but spend an inordinant amount of time sitting on a cycling forum telling eveyone how brilliant you are. By the way...do you believe everything you read...or just the stuff you agree with? And I take you calling me ignorant and arrogant as a compliment, and I stand by my insults of you...windbag!
First of all such readings were about practical considerations in the field and a study of what's been taking place in the industrial agricultural movement vs. the alternatives. The hands on experience was done by others with whom the research author was in direct relationship, so it's up to the reader to gain from their experiences.

Secondly, and this follows directly from the last point, one doesn't need to be personally engaged in everything one reads about in order to arrive at an informed opinion. This is why we read in the first place, though apparently you don't very often, to gain some of the experience of which we otherwise would remain completely ignorant. And from these analysis to make a critical judgment.

This is what we call being educated in case you feel estranged from the category and, yes, I tend to agree with those analysis that are congenial with my world view. Let's put it this way, I'm much more suspect of biased intentions when I read something that simply caters to the prevailing ideology of making the most profit, than before real criticism.

Yet when merely before base and vulgar idiocy, I can only have a good laugh. So thanks for the good laugh! :D
 
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